Advantech CNC vertically integrated solution

Advantech CNC vertically integrated solution

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For those who are interested in increasing customer service speed and have already faced production line scaling challenges related to device compatibility, G/M code inflexibility, database and MES system connectivity difficulties, the below hardware and software approach from Advantech may be helpful.  
A common challenge faced by a woodworking production director is connecting additional equipment that was originally stand-alone. A traditional CNC system cannot connect to a PLC due to insufficient interfaces. Making investments in similar equipment for expansion is not efficient in the long run. Advantech's vertically integrated Intelligent CNC Machine Management Solution helps solve these issues.

Solution Overview

The solution is an application-ready platform designed for high-speed data input/output, fast data processing and system-wide communication via EtherCAT or IoT protocols. You can implement 4 levels of improvement step by step.
Every level is not only the Advantech equipment and software installation but also incorporating existing products into the reunited system. Those 4 levels of improvement are:
Level 1. CNC Control unifying with the help of SoftPLC 
Level 2. Monitoring.  Web Access/SCADA
Level 3. Industry 4.0 optimization
Level 4. Integrations with key partners through WISE-PaaS cloud services

Starting the innovation always needs to see the destination point of each level and possible development ways beyond the horizon.  

Level 1 CNC Control unifying with the help of SoftPLC 

On level one we resolve production expansion and flexibility issues. That means hardware platforms and terminal products should be implemented, and the task of data acquisition and edge computing should be realized. SoftPLC controllers of the AMAX-5000 series are used for this purpose.

The use of the EtherCAT bus allows the control of up to 128 units to be connected and works with the SDP EtherCAT series of servomotors from Shihlin Electric. That on average allows one to control three stations at the same time without requiring human intervention.

Schema 1 Solution Architecture AMAX-5000 series implementation Architecture

Advantech CODESYS PLC control software supports multi-axis motion control, CNC G/M code and ODBC database protocol, can realize multi-axis open CNC control systems, connect IT and OT, and realize flexible processing through database and MES. 
The AMAX-5580 is a PC-based SoftPLC controller based on Intel Core i7/i5/Celeron (up to 2.6 GHz) with Microsoft Windows 7 / 10 operating system, which can be extended with plug-in I/O and servo drives via EtherCAT bus and mini–PCI Express;

The controller has 2 RS-232/422/485 serial ports with isolation, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports with POE support, and 4 USB 3.0 ports. Support for 3G/LTE/Wi-fi/GPS, Modbus, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, OPC/UA and MQTT agent modes are realized.

Check out the introductory Video about Small but Powerful: AMAX-5000 Compact Controller and EtherCAT Slice I/O, Advantech (EN)

Expansion modules

A wide range of RS232 / 422/485, Modbus, EtherCAT, EtherNet / IP, ProfiNET and CANopen communication interfaces are available for the AMAX controller series.

The AMAX-5000 I/O modules provide real-time communication control at speeds of up to 100 µs. This allows easy connection of double-sided saw PLCs and the interconnection of upstream and downstream stations to form a production line.

Scheme 2. Expansion scheme through modules.

Expansion modules are used to connect various analogue and digital sensors, temperature resistors, thermocouples, and control actuators.

Digital video cameras can be connected to the communication expansion modules with USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE support and, after analyzing the acquired images, control signals can be sent to the actuators via EtherCAT Terminals. This usage scenario allows the vision system to be implemented on it.

Examples of expansion modules

WISE-5424V, expansion module with 4 USB 3.0 ports

WISE-5001, power supply module with 4 digital inputs

WISE-5079, EtherCAT expansion module

WISE-5074, EtherCAT bus coupler

To communicate with the controller via wireless communication channels such as Wi-Fi, LTE, GPS, the WISE-5400E communication module is connected on the PCI Express bus side, where a mini PCIe card can be installed, and a SIM card slot is available.

Software Tools

Advantech's CODESYS automation platform for PLC control supports multi-axis motion control, G/M CNC code and ODBC database protocol, can realize multi-axis control systems with open CNC, connect IT and OT, and realize flexible processing through database and MES.

IT and OT integration: With Windows and ODBC database communication functions, the client software of ACS and MES can be combined to realize order-based projects and flexible production.

Open CNC: Support for standard G-code and custom M-code serves as a confirmation for the manufacturer that they can utilize different high-level control system software to meet the requirements of more orders. 

The built-in CNC function allows customers more flexibility in M-code input, supports EtherCAT bus, eliminates the bottleneck of traditional controller axis control, and works with Shihlin Electric's SDP EtherCAT series servo motor drivers to easily realize simultaneous operation of multiple stations, greatly improving task processing speed. Modular interface expansion allows for the connection of above- and below-station equipment. Advantech's CODESYS database software platform allows equipment to be quickly connected to MES for online management.

CODESYS has a built-in 3-tier Control Runtime System for different application scenarios, as well as a function for visualizing the acquired data.

It also allows you to monitor the status of the entire system from LabVIEW, ready-made drivers, and libraries of the software package additionally DAQ Navi will simplify software development.

Advantech's built-in Lmsensor driver provides the function to maximize the performance of the controller itself and allows easy execution of universal Lmsensor operations in programs developed with tools such as Microsoft Visual C ++, Embedded Visual C ++ and other programming languages on different Windows system platforms.

Level 2.  Monitoring.  Web Access/SCADA

The implementation of the WISE-PaaS IIoT cloud platform and ready-made SRP-based solutions constitute the second stage of IoT development. The controller software allows seamless integration of I/O with the upper layer and thus saves the development costs of the entire system.

Table WebAccess supported CNC Controllers 

 Producer Model
 FANUC Oi-A/B/C/D/F, 16i, 18i, 21i, 31i, 32i (FOCAS library is required)


 M700/M70, M800/M80 series


 iTNC530. iTNC640 (DNC option is required). (The number of connections to Heidennaim is limited to 16 for   each WebAccess/CNC runtime instance).

 SIEMENS 840D, 828D (OPC UA license is required)
 LNC (tree) M/T 2800/2900/5800/6800/6900/7900


 CNC-BOO: TC-22B/31B/32BN/S2D/R2B/20B/S2DN 

 CNC-C00: S300X1/S500X1/S700X1





 Support controllers with software (V10.116.36 or later) and CloudAgent (SYNTEC OPC UA server V210.0 or  later) 

WebAccess/CNC has two types of license keys:

L1. Standard license (through CNC runtime)

L2.  Economical license (using a CNC driver)

The standard license key supports various CNC types (FANUC. MITSUBISHI SIEMENS HEIDENHAIN). The economical license supports drivers as LNC Recon library, BROTHER, SYNTEC (OPC UA) and FANUC FOCAS library.

The proposed solutions are vertically integrated with real-time monitoring and data processing solutions using HTML5 Web-Based SCADA Edge Visualizer (devices like ESRP-SCA-UNO137 or ESRP-SCA-UNO2484) with subsequent retransmission of processed data to a cloud-based WISE-Paas or iFactory RTM solution via MQTT protocol. WebAccess/SCADA has support for various protocols and drivers for more than 450 controllers and devices. In addition, its intelligent control panel allows users to personalize information pages.

 Image 1. Monitoring view example Data Visualization with WISE-Paas/Dashboard

Level 3. Industry 4.0 optimization

The next level is in line with the Industry 4.0 approach. - Advantech M2I/CNC Intelligent Device Management and Monitoring.

The Intelligent CNC Management solution was designed to bridge the gap from traditional machine control to optimization, simplifying cross-factory machine control and improving machining efficiency. It also provides an overview of order progress, production line availability and utilization, and other management services.

Schema 4. The complete architecture of the industry 4.0 level solution

In this case, software plays a major role. Check on the image above to view the video Advantech WISE-PaaS Industrial IoT Cloud Platform (EN) for a better understanding.

By implementing Advantech's intelligent CNC machine control solution, managers can view real-time information on CNC machine performance and immediately discuss and resolve problems with the relevant operators and managers.

The data collected can be used to identify internal problems and improve production efficiency, for example, by comparing machine alarm reports. This will make it possible to predict and prevent breakdowns and therefore reduce downtime, as well as to instruct personnel in a timely manner, to optimize production processes. Since alarms can be caused by personnel actions.

In this case, management receives a real-time video of production areas, a list of connected machines and their status, an error log, the temperature inside the CNC interactive dashboards of OEE indicators (availability, productivity, quality), trends, downtime summaries, order progress, deviation in working time. All the metrics you need to effectively manage your production.

In this case, you must acquire the following Advantech parts:

WISE-PaaS Situation Room bundle (PN: SRP-SR-100-BTO)

WISE-PaaS VIP Membership subscription (PN: 98DPWAP2K)

#1 M2I/CNC Generic Cloud Service V1.1

#2 CNC Domain Edge ESRP-CNC-UNO1372 hardware

And attend IoT.SENSE Training on how to use.

Level 4. Integrations with key partners through WISE-PaaS cloud services

The final stage is to co-create with the client a model that integrates the client's IoT applications with those of its vertical industry partners. The key tool for SRP development is the WISE-PaaS cloud platform.

Architecturally, the place of WISE-PaaS is between the cloud and IoT devices, and the product itself provides a modular operating environment for system integrators. Not only does it guarantee seamless sensor information transmission and remote device management, but its open RESTful API/SDK protocols establish standardized connectivity and communication between all subsystems. The integrated software and cloud platform plays a key role in IoT application development, big data analysis, further optimizing workflow and future system scalability.

The platform provides a host of industrial cloud-based Internet, data storage, visualization, and analytics services with AI that developers can easily integrate to create applications for various industrial enterprises.

In addition to supporting Advantech's extensive hardware portfolio, the WISE-PaaS platform has also integrated a variety of software services such as WebAccess, WISE-PaaS/EdgeLink, WISE-PaaS/EdgeSense and WISE-PaaS/VideoSense. The data collected in the WISE-PaaS/EnSaaS cloud-based IoT platform enables partners to quickly develop SaaS (Software as a Service) and domain-specific IoT solutions.


As it is known, the set goals should be achievable. The achievement of the set goal depends on the performance of the technical solution, the qualification of personnel and the motivation of management.

In the case of Advantech Intelligent CNC Machine Management Solution, Advantech's approach allows it to move from level to level complementing the previously acquired equipment. Cloud-based solutions allow data to be collected for instant management between computers and the cloud without the need to install server room infrastructure.  Technical staff will be pleased with the ease of use of a PC-compliant open platform. Management will be motivated by the fact that they will get a great tool to optimize production processes and thus reduce costs. The customer will be satisfied with the quality you offer and the possibility of fulfilling individual orders.  Owners will be able to invest in development step by step, tracking the effectiveness of the investment from level to level, focusing more on sales rather than production.